Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common, long-term condition marked by thoughts that make you feel anxious (obsessions) and behaviours you engage in to reduce this anxiety (compulsions). Anxiety-provoking thoughts can preoccupy the mind and will not disappear, despite your best efforts to get rid of them. Thoughts could centre on contamination by germs or around harm caused by you and your negligence. You may see pictures in your mind of violent or sexual images which are completely out of character; however, importantly you do not act upon these images.
To help reduce the anxiety caused by these negative thoughts you may have rituals such as washing hands repeatedly, constant checking, and constantly asking for reassurance from others that everything is okay. OCD can disable life to such a dramatic extent that depression can also be a problem, as well as damage personal and professional relationships. It can be diagnosed if the obsessions and compulsions take up excessive amounts of time (approx. more than an hour), lead to significant distress and interfere with daily functioning in domestic life, study, work, social life, relationships.
If you think you may suffer from any of the issues listed (or if there are any non-listed here) you may benefit from making an appointment with an OCD therapist. Counselling and psychotherapy can be highly successful methods in overcoming obsessive-compulsive disorder. Treatments for OCD involve working through a therapy programme to control the obsessions and associated rituals that maintain the disorder. One of the most common therapies used to manage/cure OCD is Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT which has been proven to provide relief from intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. In the safe and confidential environment of the therapy room, you and your therapist will begin to untangle anxiety from reality and fact automatic intrusive thoughts, breaking the cycle between these thoughts and damaging compulsions. You’re your therapist you will be able to explore the underlying causes to your OCD ensuring that these issues have been addressed to prevent future episodes and to teach you how to learn to manage your thoughts and compulsions, face your fears and finally overcome your “magical” thinking process .